16 August 2011

Tights and Tiaras - conference success!

For the last two years, the feminist reading group my wife and I are part of, the Sídhe Literary Collective, has been organising a conference on female superheroes. Our many months of planning finally came to fruition last weekend, with Tights and Tiaras: Female Superheroes and Media Cultures. The conference ran at Monash University on 12 & 13 August 2011 and was sponsored by the university's School of English, Communications and Performance Studies, and the Centre for the Book. In the lead up to the conference, we even got some media interest:

My wife was also interviewed on the ABC Radio (Melbourne) Drive program (several of my coworkers mentioned hearing her interview as they drove home!). After this media attention even the University itself took notice and ran a news feature on "Tights and Tiaras". There may also be more media coverage in coming weeks.

The conference itself ran even better than we'd hoped - some fascinating papers were presented and some great discussions took place; the catering was great and the conference dinner on the first night was very enjoyable.

Karen's keynote, which opened the conference, did a wonderful job of contextualising the conference and discussing some of the issues pervading the representation of women in comics. Another highlight was the 'authors and artists' panel, which featured Karen (who recently received an Aurealis Award for her YA novel Guardian of the Dead), Alison Goodman (author of Eon and Eona and also an Aurealis Award winner), and JKB Fletcher (whose superhero-themed paintings I thought were absolutely brilliant). My paper on Cinderella in Fables (co-written with Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario) was well received, as was my wife's paper on The Powerpuff Girls (the editor of the Dark Matter fanzine called hearing an academic paper on The Powerpuff Girls a "surreal experience").

So, I think it's time to unwind for a little - to chill out and read some comics - before facing the masters study I'm now lagging behind on...

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